How To Cut Down On Spam If You Are Using Contact Form 7 On WordPress

Jeff Berman
March 30, 2011

We are big fans of WordPress here at AttorneySync. We recommend WordPress for our law firm clients and use it on our own sites (including this one). Most websites and blogs we work with require the use of a contact form, and we typically use the free plugin Contact Form 7.

WordPress is one of the most widely used blogging / website platforms and Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular plugins for contact forms on WordPress. This presents a situation that is ripe to be exploited by our spammer friends. There are many bots and programs created to seek out and spam Contact Form 7 on WordPress sites with nonsensical gibberish or offering a great deal on Viagra. In our experience, the automated submissions can be so aggressive that on some days we were receiving 40-60 "fake" requests. After a bit of research, I was able to implement a few fixes to dramatically cut down on the spam we received. Since taking these measures, I have yet to receive anymore automated spam through the form (fingers crossed).

Here is an outline of the steps I took:

1. Really Simple Captcha - The first step was to install a Really Simple captcha on the form. A captcha is a series of numbers or letters you sometimes see at the end of a form that helps to verify if you are human. Really simple captcha was created to work with Contact Form 7. It is not full proof but it helps cut down on some spam.

2. Filter Spam With Akismet - The Akismet plugin comes pre-installed with WordPress now. First you will need to make sure that Akismet is activated using your WordPress.com API key. Once activated, Akismet helps to filter spam comments but it can also be used with Contact Form 7 to verify and filter contact form submissions. You can find directions on the Contact Form 7 blog to setup filtering using Akismet. Here is a quick excerpt of the Akismet options you can add to your form:

akismet:author
Add this option to the field that accepts the name of the sender.
Example: [text* your-name akismet:author]
akismet:author_email
Add this option to the field that accepts the email address of the sender.
Example: [email* your-email akismet:author_email]
akismet:author_url
Add this option to the field that accepts the URL of the sender.
Example: [text your-url akismet:author_url]

3. Install Bad Behavior Plugin - The bad behavior plugin prevents spammers from ever delivering their junk, and in many cases, from ever reading your site in the first place. You can read more about the plugin and how it works here.

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman, is co-founder of AttorneySync. "Properly marketing a law firm online is about producing relevant content that helps a prospective client understand your expertise and how you are able to help them. Finally, it’s about getting that content found by the people you are trying to help."
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
KarolinaBla
KarolinaBla
9 years ago

Thanks for this. Just made my site live and got tons of span through my contact form overnight. Very annoying!

Let's Discuss Your Growth

Helping law firms grow profitably with digital marketing and can prove it.

Barry Conybeare

We are so impressed with AttorneySync and their digital marketing services. We started with an audit of our digital presence and hired them thereafter. Fixes to the website and other platforms quickly followed and we have seen a substantial increase in online traffic, new client calls, and new client contracts. Strongly recommend AttorneySync!

Let's Talk

How can we help?

More From Our Blog

June 8, 2023
On Local Law Firm SEO Rank Tracking and Reporting

Over the years, law firm prospects have sent us reports from just about all of our competitors. Unfortunately, even today, some law firm marketing agencies still mislead their clients via "reporting." One particularly egregious example comes in the form of ranking reports. Which prompted this LinkedIn post. To my surprise, I received a lot of […]

Read More
June 7, 2023
On Attribution

John Wanamaker supposedly said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." In an an effort to figure out "what half is working," attribution was born. Coupled with a transition from traditional, offline ads to digital media, attribution became the holy grail for analyzing advertising spends. But […]

Read More
March 22, 2023
I asked ChatGPT to Recommend a Personal Injury Law Firm

I recently asked ChatGPT, "What are some of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago?? Actually, first I ask "who are some of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago?" ChatGPT couldn't handle that one, so I modified the prompt. ChatGPT listed five very well-known firms downtown. Can you guess the other four? That's […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
My Take on Google Search's Guidance on AI-Generated Content & Law Firm SEO

If you're like me, you have some degree of AI, ChatGBT, Bard, exhaustion. Now don't get me wrong, this is stuff is remarkable and is changing, well, a lot. But before you hook up the ChatGPT API to your WordPress API and crank out 10,000 pages, here are a few things to think about. Let's […]

Read More
February 16, 2023
Google Adds New SEO Best Practices for Links

If you know me, you know my opinions about links and SEO advice from Google. If you don't, here's the TL;DR: Meh, links! Meaning, all things being equal, links still remain a competitive difference maker for ranking. Take Google's SEO advice with several grains of salt. Google has no economic incentive to help your site […]

Read More
February 1, 2023
Authenticity & Engagement

The best marketing advice I can give you is to be authentic. Of course, you don't find that very helpful in terms of meeting your growth goals. So, you might decide to game the system. As I'm writing this, one of the more popular ways to gain the system is to pay for engagement. This […]

Read More
January 19, 2023
ChatGPT for Legal Marketing

The following post was written by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses, including law firms, market themselves to potential clients. One way that a law firm could use […]

Read More
May 26, 2022
SEO Expectations for Law Firms

How long does SEO take? When can I expect to see results? What results should I expect to see? These are all reasonable questions that we field from lawyers every day. And, like many legal answers, the answer is: It depends. Yes, I know that's not the answer you wanted. But it's the most honest […]

Read More
May 6, 2022
Who Should Do Marketing?

And how much time should they spend doing it? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tyson, Jim, and Conrad for an upcoming episode of The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. If you're not familiar with The Maximum Lawyer community, you should definitely check it out. Jim asked a really great question about who should do […]

Read More

Let's Discuss

Questions or comments? Let's discuss on social!
envelope
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram